Last week I did something extraordinary and damn it felt good.
I did a cleanse.
It wasn’t your average everyday juice cleanse, this was a cupboard cleanse.
No, I didn’t clean out all my kitchen cupboards, I tossed out a heap of clothes from my wardrobe and it got my adrenalin pumping like a fitness class.
I didn’t realise how much “stuff” I was carrying around, and I say carrying around because I didn’t realise until I cleaned my cupboard how emotionally invested I was with some of my things.
Some of you may not understand this and think I’m a little crazy, but I honestly felt lighter after the intervention from my mate and styling guru Des Eddy and I mean physically lighter.
I had so many clothes in my wardrobe that I felt attached to and it wasn’t until after I threw them out, that realised I thought I was still the girl I was a few years ago, fat Heidi.
About six months ago Des and I met hosting a fashion parade at Ocean Keys Shopping Centre in Perth, he styled me up for the show and we did a few videos, when we were talking, he said to me “Oh you still think, you’re that bigger girl.”
For the last few years, I have been choosing a healthier lifestyle and naturally lost weight (ok I lie, not naturally, I have been trying so bloody hard and tried every diet in the book) but I was still seeing myself as that “bigger” girl and buying clothes to cover up all my lumps and bumps.
My cupboard was full of shawls that cover up my arms and dresses that were so baggy they looked like garbage bags on.
My legging collection was outrageous with two full drawers as I would wear them with baggy tops because I felt comfortable in them but as Des pointed out this was “Old Heidi” and my wardrobe was still full of clothes that lacked self-confidence.
I couldn’t believe how much emotion a piece of clothing could hold, and nor will you until you go nuts at your place.
Des and Ocean Keys Shopping Centre approached me about doing another series of videos with them regarding fashion and a cupboard cleanse just a few weeks ago and I jumped at the chance, the last time I met Des I threw out 15 grocery bags of clothes, so him coming to my house was going to mean I could let go of my past a little more.
I was pumped!
Des arrived at my place last week, with a massive smile, the pure delight he had in throwing out another 3 large garbage bags of clothes and shoes was written all over his face.
If you’re reading this now, thinking I don’t have anything to wear, then I can guarantee you probably have too much to wear and you need to get to the kitchen now, grab some garbage bags and head straight for your wardrobe.
You will feel so much lighter once you’ve cleansed.
Warning though, things might get emotional but my god you will feel good after!
You have to ask yourself as you pick up each piece of clothing some super important questions like, does it fit? Have I worn this in the last 12 months? Is it likely I will ever wear this again? (This one is a tough question to answer because I find you can easily make times up in your head, so you don’t have to chuck! So be BRUTAL and don’t kid yourself!) Is this currently in style, and/or does this still accurately represent my style?
Is it damaged? (Because guess what, if it is, it also goes in the garbage bag. I tried to tell Des that I’d take some of my damaged pieces into be fixed. His response was priceless with “That will never happen. Now bin it!” )
The list of questions goes on, if I was shopping right now, would I buy this?
And most importantly: Do I feel confident when I wear this?
In Des’ own words, “If you answer a firm “no” to any of the above, it’s time to say sayonara and decide whether to sell, donate, swap, or toss the item!”
It doesn’t stop there though, you have only just begun, it’s now time to get organised!
Start by making piles on one side of the room with skirts, shirts etc all separate of course.
You then need to make some really tough and life changing decisions, you must now pull out your Greatest Hits, select ONE piece from each pile that you wear the most. As Des explained to me, “It’s not your favourite piece, but the one you wear the most, so be brutal with yourself Heidi. It’ll be worth it in the long run.”
Once you’ve identified your greatest hits line them up on the opposite side of the room.
The hard work isn’t over my friends, you can now colour code.
If you find that you have multiples of the same item like me! Then you must grab the one you wear the most and leave the others, I know right! This was one of the hardest things I had to do because I had multiples of the same dresses, pants and tops. If something looks good on me, I’ll buy it in all its colours.
Des was holding six dresses of the exact same make and style but different colours and said, “Don’t rationalise subtle difference, Heidi, Bin baby, these are Old Heidi.”
You’ll notice with such a reduced colour pallet, it will be easier to utilise what you have and put together outfits based on what silhouettes and design details work best together.
“Over time you’ll hone what design elements work best for you, which will make you a more strategic shopper in the long run instead of just following the trends.”
The best thing about doing this with Des is he had no emotional attachment to my clothes, I couldn’t believe how many pieces I had that I no longer wore because they were too big, but I had kept because we had history.
Doing this, was a truly rewarding experience.
But it’s NOT over, if you’re clearing our your wardrobe now, you still need to put away what you left.
Start by putting back all your colour-coded picks and organise them by silhouette, then by colour. That means putting all your skirts together in colour order, then putting all your pants together in the same colour order.
“Take your time with this step. Get to know these pieces of clothing a little better, especially if you haven’t worn them in a while. You’ll probably start making up new outfits in your mind long before you finish hanging everything up.”